Initially written as a backstory, ‘Mazhya Aaichi Girlfriend’ is the story of two working-class women, Renuka and Sadiya, who are in love with each other. The writer-director Arun Fulara says it was taken out for some reason, but the character and story stayed with him, and he decided to write it out and make the short film. It features Sushma Deshpande, Anju Alva Naik, and Suhas Sirsat. The veteran film and theatre actor/ writer Sushama Deshpande acted in the mother’s role, while Marathi actor Suhas Sirsat plays her son. Anju Alva Naik, another theatre and film actor from Bengaluru, played the girlfriend’s role in My Mother’s Girlfriend.
The short film happens around Renuka’s 50th birthday. She plans for her and Sadiya to celebrate her birthday together, by the beach, while enjoying all the treats that she desires. Renuka’s son, Mangesh, a cab driver, also wanted to meet her on that same day, but Renuka pretended to be busy that day. The son finds out the reason why Renuka wanted to spend the day with him, and about her sexuality.
This Marathi- and Hindi-language short film offers a glimpse into the relationship between the two women, the fun-loving Renuka and the coaxing Sadiya, and their relationship. It is about their love for each other, and the love of a son for his mother. Written and directed by Arun Fulara, My Mother’s Girlfriend is a tender, understated film that looks at the everyday concerns and desires of two people in love, from different faiths and hailing from lower-middle-class families. Sushama’s heart-warming performance brings out the mischief and emotions of her character gorgeously as we are shown her world. Anju plays a rather shy character and yet manages to express her emotions and love quite adorably.
Arun Fulara has previously won the Riyad Wadia Award for Best Emerging Indian Filmmaker, for his short film, Sunday. This short film is just 10 minutes long, with hardly any dialogue, but quite powerful in giving the message. Sunday, starring Shrikant Yadav, is about a regular middle-aged Maharashtrian man, whose Sundays are special, because he gets to go to the neighbourhood salon. It is special because he gets to spend some time sneakily looking at his crush, the young barber, and be touched by him. The narrative shows a lot of sweet tenderness and innocence, even in the short span of ten minutes.
“Sunday was very personal. It stemmed out of my loneliness in the city and this lack of intimacy and touch. My Mother’s Girlfriend is more of a celebration of love between two characters, who are also lonely. This desire to be with someone you love or are attracted to is probably the most universal of all human or even animal desires, ” says Arun. An engineer by training, his interest in literature, music, the arts, and films led him to become editor of the website Jamuura.com. While working there, he met filmmakers and worked with film makers.
Sunday was a debut, and the script for My Mother’s Girlfriend won the Kashish QDrishti Film Grant, at the Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival. The film is currently being screened at various film festivals and is receiving worldwide praise. While My Mother’s Girlfriend is still not available to watch online, apart from film festivals, Sunday is available to watch on the MovieSaints website.